2
votes
2answers
166 views

What is the meaning of 水 in this text?

Someone was asking about this in a German Chinese forum. Now I too would really like to know what 水 is here! The author is from 重庆, maybe it is dialect. ...
5
votes
2answers
162 views

In which Chinese topolect might 門 be transcribed as <mum>?

There's a Cantonese restaurant in Mountain View, CA called Fu Lam Mum -- the characters are clearly 富臨門. But 門 has always had a -n final, in any topolect I know of, and back to MC and OC according to ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

How does the difficulty of learning Chinese increase with age? [closed]

I’m 27 years old and I want to know whether it is possible for me to master Chinese language at this age. I'm totally a beginner. :(
3
votes
2answers
95 views

What is the Correct Sense of 隔空喊话 in English?

Baidu defines it literally as "not directly engaging with [someone/thing] when talking, rather talking with no person in mind." I'm curious whether it can be close to how we say in English, "[two ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Translation: “people with upright eyes will arrive”

Related: Confucian Messianism, Mencius, etc Still going through Popular Religious Movements and Heterodox Sects in Chinese History by Hubert Seiwert (In collaboration with Ma Xisha) and came across ...
6
votes
5answers
421 views

How to correctly use 恐怕

According to Pleco, 恐怕 has 2 definitions fear; dread; be afraid of perhaps; probably; maybe The second definition is what I am struggling with. I was taught that it is similar to 也许, but ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Understanding "肯定“ and “一定” in this sentence

The sentence I'm having trouble figuring out is 这些行动是积极的,值得肯定,对于减少烟毒有一定的意义。 Regarding 值得肯定 does it mean it's worth acknowledging as a positive action ? As for 一定的意 does it mean has some ...
1
vote
2answers
151 views

Conventional meaning of (你)耳朵生翅膀(了)

虹影 饥饿的女儿 Hong Ying, "Daughter of the River" has this sentence: "不行,这样也不对,你耳朵生翅膀了,总听不见我的话?" Translated by Howard Goldblatt (ISBN 0-8021-1637-X) as: "No,that's not right either. Do you have wings on ...
5
votes
3answers
166 views

How do you ask how old a building is?

I know to say to a person how old they are you can say "你多大" or "你几岁". But, how could you express "how old is this building?" Would you say "这楼有几年的历史?" Or would that only be used for something grand ...
4
votes
3answers
230 views

How to say “On the phone” (手机里 vs. 手机上)

Prepositions are always a fun part to learn of a language. Right now, I'm running into the difficulty of trying to describe "On My Phone". I've heard people say "手机上“ but, after Baiduing I also know ...
0
votes
3answers
55 views

(Cantonese) How to say there are always two sides to a story?

I'm talking to a friend about something, and she's only presenting one side. So I want to ask about the other side and say, "there's always two sides to every story." What's the best way to say this ...
0
votes
3answers
108 views

When to omit the modifying 的?

他给她买来了一个戒指。 He gives her a ring that he bought. I assume that this sentence should need 的 before "a ring that he bought" to be modifying, as below. 他给她买来了'的'一个戒指。 So I think 的 is somewhat ...
1
vote
3answers
117 views

How to say “After +Verb” in Chinese?

How to say "After +Verb" in daily conversation? For example: "After eating my candy, I will go there". "After he saw you were coming, he left". "After she found the book, she called me". etc. So ...
4
votes
2answers
93 views

Is there a way to translate terms related to the family?

Traditionally, a person may be addressed by taking account of the person's gender, age relative to the speaker, familial relationship to the speaker, and whether or not the person is on the mother or ...
1
vote
3answers
119 views

Do I use “扔掉” or “倒掉” to expressing getting rid of 死水?

I know this is very specific, but I was looking for a translation for standing/stagnant water (context: mosquitoes), but found out it `死水`(if that's incorrect though, someone please kindly notify me). ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

How do you pronounce “太监” in Mainland China?

Could someone explain how to pronounce 太监 in China and Taiwan? I've heard it be tai4 jian1 as well as seen it (in Pleco) as tai4 jian4! Thanks for any clarification!
3
votes
1answer
113 views

What is the Old Chinese Pronunciation for the Character 兮?

I recently bought the book ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese in an effort to get minimally smart about old phonology. But the #1 character I'm curious about, with regard to old poems, is 兮 - ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

How to interpret 家居家装 in this sentence

Happy New Year to all on this beautiful sunny day in Nanjing! 从商品类别来看,网购用户指出主要集中在服装配饰、护理美容、消费电子及家居家装这四大领域的产品上。 How to interpret '家居家装'? What does it actually mean or include?
3
votes
3answers
169 views

What's the Least Awkward Way To Say “I am Not A Native Chinese Speaker” In Chinese?

Usually I end up saying 我并非/不是以中文为母语的人,(...so please forgive my mistakes). Is there any way to avoid the awkward-seeming "以中文为母语" construction here but still get this point across, without ...
1
vote
3answers
180 views

What is the difference: “和小猫一样可爱” and “像小猫一样可爱”

There are two sentences: 她的宝宝和小猫一样可爱 (I never ran into a sentence like the one until recently.) 她的宝宝像小猫一样可爱 Question: Are these two sentences exchangeable? Or, what is the difference between ...
2
votes
3answers
126 views

The most used Chinese dialect on the Web?

Do Chinese use different language dialects on the Web? e.g. Mandarin, Cantonese, Min Chinese, Xiang  Chinese, Hakka Chinese, Gan Is there difference how people in China are looking for stuff on the ...
4
votes
2answers
165 views

Is the phrase “slot machine” 老虎机 the same in different Chinese dialects?

Just wondering whether the phrase 老虎机 (slot machine) sounds and is written the same in all Chinese dialects, such as: Mandarin, Wu Chinese, Min Chinese, Cantonese, Jin Chinese, Xiang  Chinese, ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

“Today” in Spoken Singaporean Mandarin

Is "今日" or "今天" more appropriate to use when speaking Singaporean Mandarin? Is it different than the one that is used in writing?
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Explaining 烦百事生 in 雨下得人心烦百事生

虹影 饥饿的女儿 Ying Hong - Daughter of the River has the sentence 雨下得人心烦百事生,看不到雨停的希望。(google 烦百事生)。Howard Goldblatt's translation reads:The effect of the rain is despair that you'll ever see the end of ...
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

How to translate “desires have been granted”

I am trying to think of a 4-word 成語 that means "my/your desires have been granted" but I can't remember or think of one.
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Confucian Messianism, Mencius, etc

Just picked up Popular Religious Movements and Heterodox Sects in Chinese History by Hubert Seiwert (In collaboration with Ma Xisha) and was kind of caught aback by the idea of Confucian messianism. ...
6
votes
2answers
246 views

How to Translate 江湖?

I've always wondered how to translate the word "江湖" in a context such as that in Du Mu's poem: 落魄江湖载酒行, 楚腰纤细掌中轻。 This link clearly explains what 江湖 means, but "underworld" isn't particularly ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

Colloquial way to express the concept of “默写”

Say you've read a poem by William Shakespeare. You liked it very much so you remembered it by heart. Now you can recite it, i.e., read it aloud from your memory, or, you can write it down accurately ...
-1
votes
2answers
284 views

How to spell these words in Chinese alphabets? [closed]

since there is a wide range of letters in Chinese language , I need your best offers on spelling (pronounce) these words by use of only Chinese Characters in its most accurate form ? the spelling ...
1
vote
3answers
114 views

Understanding/Translating: 空无

What is the best understanding and (English) translation of 空无? 汉语大词典: 佛教语。谓一切事物从因缘生,唯心所造,了无自性 《维摩经菩萨行品》: "观於空无而不舍大悲。" There are a lot of religious, if you will, concepts in here that I ...
3
votes
10answers
673 views

What is the difference between “我还没打算” and “我还没决定”

In a question-response practice, the question is "你暑假要去旅游吗"? Why is the right response "我还没决定", not "我还没打算"?
1
vote
1answer
165 views

What's the Most Likely Chinese Version of this Odd “Chinglish”?

This Language Log post is an entertaining discussion of some possible explanations for an unidiomatic English phrase, "Suffered We Protect They", that has appeared on some Liuzhou SWAT posters. My ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

Usage of direction and location (destination) complements (衣服都装进箱子里去了 vs. 衣服都装到箱子里了)

In some situations, it is not clear to me when to use a direction complement or a location (destination) complement. For instance, I read from a book that the sentence "衣服都装进箱子里去了" is correct. This ...
2
votes
3answers
92 views

grammar sentences

I have been learning Mandarin since beginning of this year. I also learn from song. Then today I read some lyrics from song. I read some sentences : "我看不清楚", then I just think why it should be like ...
1
vote
5answers
118 views

Are 民谣 Songs? Or are they saying?

Recently, I was trying to understanding what 民谣 exactly means. I know that it is often translated as "Folk Rhyme or Ballad". This implies to me that it is an old, traditional song. I recently saw a ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Meaning of 莫逮 in Classical texts?

Some examples of 莫逮 found in Classical texts: 三國志.卷二十一.魏書.王粲傳:「昔伯牙絕絃於鍾期,仲尼覆醢于子路,痛知音之難遇,傷門人之莫逮也。」 《南齐书·周盘龙传》 形甚羸訥, 而臨軍勇果, 諸將莫逮。 《宋史•朱弁传》:“叹马角之未生,魂销雪窖;攀龙髯而莫逮,泪洒冰天。” 《荀子·尧问》 ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Difference between 捞 and 拿?

So, recently I bumped into the word “捞” - which, as I've seen translated - means “to grab from a liquid。 (Somewhat similar to “ladel") I thought this looked like a really useful verb, but I wanted to ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

Difference between 帐篷 and 大棚?

Recently, I read a story that said “于是他让弟子们搭起大棚”。 I translated this roughly to "ordered the kids to set up a tent". But this had me confused. Isn't 帐篷 also tent? And can't you also 搭起帐篷? What is ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Is knowing how Chinese Characters are formed common knowledge?

Are Chinese taught in school how Chinese characters are formed (mainly phono-semantic compounds) or do they just bruteforce remember them? At least I know Japanese people don't learn phonetic parts of ...
1
vote
4answers
172 views

When is 我 pronounced ě?

Grand Ricci 我 wǒ (or ě) When is 我 pronounced as ě? Haven't even able to find any examples.
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Difference between 人和 and 仁和

In Lao She's novel Rickshaw Boy, the protagonist works at place called "人和厂“. To be very literal that is people's unity shop, in contrast to the protagonist's individualism. But two thirds of the ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Difference between 剧本 and 脚本?

Is there a clear difference between 剧本 and 脚本? I know that 剧本 can also be the more formal “screenplay”。 But beyond that I'm not sure if there is a difference
2
votes
2answers
191 views

吃午饭了, should 了 be right after 吃?

I saw this sentence from a text book: 你吃午饭了没有? Have you had lunch yet? Does the 了 have to be right after the verb 吃 though? 你吃了午饭没有? Have you had lunch yet? I learned that 了 with verb ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

殊: Why 歺(歹)+朱? How did it get to mean special (in a good way)?

How did 殊, as in: 特殊、殊技、殊荣、殊勋、殊遇、殊遇 come to have it's meaning of special? 歺(歹)+朱 paint out a rather, more, grim meaning if anything... 說文解字: 死也。从歺朱聲。漢令曰:“蠻夷長有罪,當殊之。”市朱切 How did 殊 get to mean ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

What abstract things can you 吸收?

So, I recently learned 吸收 can be used abstractly. Looking around example sentences we have 吸收知识 吸收A的思想 吸收B的信念 吸收A的经验 Two questions: 1. How common are these collocations? How colloquial? 2. ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

How to properly say “World's fair”

I've read that there are a couple of different ways to say "World's fair" including "世界博览会" "世博会“ or “万博”。 Would anyone like to comment on common these terms actual are? Is saying 世纪博览会 in ...
4
votes
2answers
122 views

一眼之念 一念执着 meaning

I want to translate lyrics for 步步惊心 intro song. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj8kElvozBY) 一眼之念 一念执着 - My Chinese friend told me that meaning is "I fall in love with you from first look" 一眼之念 - ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

How can you appropriately use “延长”?

So, over the past hours, I‘ve been trying to figure out the proper usage of 延长。 I know that it refers to extending a period of time, but I'm trying to think about ways to use it (exact collocation) ...
2
votes
1answer
594 views

Do people use 刻苦 nowadays?

I'm trying to figure out two things. 1. is 刻苦 still commonly used in China? Is it colloquial? ex: could I say “他那一年刻苦的学西班牙文” If it is used, are there any clear differences with “认真”? Or are they ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

How common is the phrase “同乡”?

I recently read the word “同乡” (i.e. person who lives in the same village as you). I'm trying to figure out if it is something that people say. Could I say 在飞机上我竟然认识一位同乡? If not, how is it used ...

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